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Sports Facilities Technology

From Bleachers to Luxury Box Suites: Arenas Get a Tech Makeover

October 24, 2012


Professional and collegiate stadiums and arenas have come a long way from metal bleachers and grass fields. Whether you have a 90-inch HD flat screen television or top-notch surround sound speakers, there’s nothing like watching your favorite team compete in their respective home stadium. Arenas can house up to 20,000 cheering basketball fans, to then be transformed into a concert venue entertaining 20,000 screaming tweens.

With today’s technology, fans are experiencing every luxury and amenity for which they once longed, from online concession orders to self-entry turnstiles.

Just recently, Washington Wizards fans got into the tech action. Instead of the old run-of-the-mill tickets, season ticket holders have been provided with passes, similar to credit cards. The season’s games have been loaded onto the holder’s card, which includes their name, account number, seat location and loyalty level.

Not only does this tech-savvy move save money, but it also proves convenient for fans.

“We’re also looking to allow fans to put money on their cards, which allows purchases of food and merchandise in the building,” said Randall Boe, Monumental’s executive vice president and general counsel.

Image via Shutterstock

Another high-tech arena to bust onto the scene is the brand new Barclays Center, which welcomed Brooklyn’s finest rapper Jay-Z as its first act. The 18,200 seated arena boasts acoustic panels, a steep seating plan, 3G and LTE (News - Alert) reception, free Wi-Fi and a 360-degree LED marquee that surrounds the outer pavilion.

Barclays’ high-tech amenities cater to the ultimate fan; with its free Wi-Fi and LTE reception, fans can tweet, post or stream a live event to hundreds of like-minded enthusiasts.

On the collegiate front, Troy University has completed its new 5,500-seat arena, located on its campus in Troy, Alabama. The Trojan Arena will be home to the university’s basketball, volleyball and track teams. The arena features 767-square-foot video boards for the ultimate fan experience and an interactive Troy University Sports Hall of Game display.

Behind the scenes, locker rooms and control rooms are equipped with the latest technology and over 100 security cameras to keep patrons safe.

"The video boards are really impressive," said Frigge. "We will have a lot of flexibility in what we can do with them, including breaking them up into smaller scoreboards to give out stats, scores, and replays."

So what would you rather do: watch the Super Bowl on your sunken couch, or experience victory live in one of the many high-tech arenas across the country?